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30 Jan, 2008 17:32

Russia & Belarus unite against western pressure

Russia and Belarus have shown a united front during the visit of Sergey Lavrov. Russia's Foreign Minister was in Minsk to discuss opposition to the U.S. anti-missile shield in Europe and joint foreign policy over the next two years.

Lavrov was in the capital of neighbouring Belarus for two days.

As a result, the countries agreed on a co-ordinated foreign policy programme for the next two years.

The Foreign Ministers say they are worried that some western countries have been trying to pressure Belarus into changing its policies.

Russia and Belarus also claim international organizations such as the OSCE treat some countries differently while observing elections.

Meanwhile, the presidential election in Russia as well as parliamentary election in Belarus are fast-approaching.

“We will follow our obligations in terms of inviting international observers to the election. The forms of this are decided by the inviting party. So far, the OSCE hasn't adopted any other rule,” Lavrov stressed.

Belarus echoes this opinion.

The countries also have the same feeling towards the U.S. anti-missile defense shield plans.

“Our position is well-known. We see no need for the U.S. to have this shield for reasons that it is naming. Our countries agree on this matter,” Lavrov stated.

Russia and Belarus say security needs to be collective and shouldn't be divided.

Even though relations between Russia and Belarus have been disturbed in the last years by heated discussions over energy, when it comes to matters of wider international significance, the two countries walk hand in hand.